Sunday, July 27, 2014

16 Month Round-up

It feels like a while since we have devoted a blog to the wonderful Beatrice Lea, and given how much her personality is growing it is about time.

The poor thing has been working on all 4 molars the last few weeks so hasn't totally been herself. But between biting on toes, biting on me, and bouts of Tylenol, we have been enjoying the spunk that our second-born has brought into our house.

One of the things that continues to surprise us is how much Bea plays by herself. This is just totally new territory for us. And if she didn't literally put EVERYTHING in her mouth any chance she gets, we could pretty much leave her home alone and she would be happy. But alas, she is a dirt, rock, sand, playdough, penny, etc eater. So we have to keep a close eye on her. :)

But with this growing independent play, the sisters have started to enjoy some more playtime together. (which also means we have caught a glimpse into our future with the fighting)....

But in between bouts of fighting there is a lot of sweetness, and Matilda is getting more anxious for her little sister to catch up to her so they can fly together.

Bea is very patient when she is trying to figure something out. She will spend long period of time trying to do something that could frustrate her. Put on her shoe. Put a crayon in the box. Pick up a tiny rock off of the floor so she can put it in her mouth. You get the picture.

That patience is zapped to zero when it involves her hunger or something she wants, now. But it impresses me that she appears to have a penchant for problem solving.

Some of my favorite Bea things right now:
- hysterical maniacal giggling when we crack the code of what she wants
- the way she stops, looks over her shoulder and nods 'yes' right before she does something naughty
- her 'lobster claw'--when she hooks her arm around ours when we carry her
- the way she just pops her little hand out of the stroller when she wants something. It's a quiet sort of demanding
- Her obsession with Suzy Doll and Annie Bear and how she has to bring them out of the crib each morning

Bea started the Toddler room this past week, and it was SO clear to me that she was more than ready.
The way she was playing with toys--picking up a purse, grabbing the stroller, packing it with a baby and waving bye bye. 

She did really well--although I can't imagine this child--who is ALWAYS on the go sleeping on a cot. I can't wrap my mind around that.

The child is also OBSESSED with her hat and shoes. Literally wears her hat around the house 75% of the time. Will stop what she is doing (even if it is crying for food) and walk like a hypnotized robot when we ask her where her shoes are and to go put them on (sometimes I do it just to stop her from crying!).

For how 'busy' Bea is, she is also a Lover. Free with her waves, her kisses, her drive-by snuggles.
She is still quite the peanut from what we are used to, but what she might lack in theft around her middle, she makes up for in spunk.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Defiance First

An interesting new trend has emerged with the 3-year old.

Almost any time we ask her a question, she immediately answers no. Like she is predisposed to be defiant.


(Tillie struggling to carry a bag)
Me: Tillie you want me to carry that bag for you?
Tillie: NO (very quickly....pause...). Yes.

Me: Tillie do you want to go outside with Mama.
Tillie: NO! Yes.

You get the picture.

It's hilarious because she says no before I think she really has even processed what she is saying no to.  This does two things for me. First, it literally makes me fear the teenage years. Can you even imagine the sass and defiance this girl is going to have?? Second, it gives me a little hope that she won't be as stubborn as me. Because I have to imagine that once i said no to something as a kid, I stuck to it on principle, even thought I may have wished I said yes.....

Time will tell I am sure, but in the meantime we are enjoying this silly little quirk!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Tillie Talks

Nate and Tillie ran to Target for a quick errand. As they pull into the parking lot, there is a car getting jumped. Tillie asks "what's that?" Nate tries to explain. To which Tillie responds,
"They should try a band-aid"


"Daddy, I got you your seatbelt" said while handing him a belt for his pants.


"I need to get better pants on"
--said as she was leaving to go to Bylerlys to get milk with Nate
Clearly I say this too much as I roam the house in pajama pants and always have to put 'better pants on' to leave the house. :)


Playing a game in the basement, we were pretending coins were money. Tillie launches into a story about how she was going to take her money go to work and stop at Target after work to buy two things: "Sausage and Peanut Butter"


One night, as Nate was putting Tillie down for bedtime, she told him:
"I want to give you a kiss and a clap". He wasn't sure what he was in for, but she bent over and gave him a  kiss and then a high five. Then promptly turned over and went to sleep.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


I want to say I have no excuses for poor execution of this blog the last month or so, but in reality I feel like I have a lot. :)

First of all, if someone isn't trailing Bea at all times she will definitely consume more than her fair share of dirt, sand, rocks that are choking hazards, or crayons.

Second, the weather has been so gorgeous the last thing I want to do after being on the computer all day is sit in front of the computer some more.

Third, and most fun, we have had a TON of visitors this last month to help us break in the new house. So usually I catch up on my blogging on the weekends, but that hasn't been able to happen because we have been out having fun.

And fourth (and probably the most legit reason for the absence) is that I CANNOT get my freaking iphone pictures to sync up with my blogger. I have tried so many times and it isn't happening. So I apologize for the post below--no pictures. There are lots of cute ones. If you want to see them to tell the story--let me know and I can scroll you through my phone. :)

Emily and Joe came and visited us all the way from Texas, and while Joe tried his best to better Matilda up, I'm not sure we made as much progress as he would have liked. The girl has a steel-trap memory, and just will not let their first encounter go. Bea, on the other hand, gives it up straight away.

We had a lot of fun exploring some new restaurants, going to the park, visiting Nate at Target, and generally just hanging out with the girls. It was SO awesome of them to fly all the way up here, and now we are on the full-on countdown until they will LIVE up here.

Then we were lucky enough to get to host the entire Joyce crew. Amy and I were WAY WAY WAY overdue for an in-person visit. I hadn't met the wonderful ms. Winnie yet, and Amy hadn't gotten her hands on the crazy Beezy Lea. It was a little harder to get out the door with four little ones but we managed to make it to a few parks (which Matilda thought she was the boss off), and out for an amazing breakfast at Agra-Culture.

I love how each of the 'big siblings' have their arms around the OTHER little sibling--like oh, I'll be nice to this little baby since it isn't coming home with me....

We made a run to the beer store which ended up with both Matilda and Paddy getting their first 'tattoos' and all of the children naked and rolling around in a giant mud puddle in our front 'yard.' What can I say?

We ventured out to the Food Truck festival as well, but long lines and blasting sun/heat kept our stay short (but not before I indulged in some seriously craveable tater-tots). 

Time moves to fast when you are with your favorite people and both of these weekends proved that. I am so bummed looking back at how few pictures we snapped, but regardless of the photos I have to prove for it, we had a great time. Either of guys can come around again anytime you want!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Dear Matilda-

Your 3rd birthday has come and gone, and a day doesn't pass by that I catch a glimpse of the baby you were and a flash of the little girl you are becoming. The baby features are waning, and the little girl personality is exploding.

You prefer to do pretty much anything and everything by 'your own self', but still prefer to never be too far from you daddy or I's side. You choose playing with us vs. by yourself 99% of the time (sometimes to our dinner's detriment), but that is because one of your favorite activities continues to be reading books.

And while you are working really hard at your letters (you have M and K down pat, thanks to your BFF Kayla), you aren't quite reading by yourself yet. :) You continue to get smarter--your song portfolio growing, you ability to throw out sassy quips rising, and your ability to 'make a deal' and negotiate is both astounding and frightening all at the same time.

You still approach the world with a cautious confidence. Soaking, watching, learning first. And then jumping in once you know you can do it. Grandma and Grandpa got a scooter for you for your birthday, and this is the first time that you've really worked at something you weren't great at, and tried little by little to get better--instead of waiting until perfection struck.

Your cousins are some of your favorite people in the world, even though we don't see them all that much, your adoration is always full. In fact the other night, you said you 'had brothers. cousin brothers.' And so they are.

The world is your oyster, my dear. And your sweet yet sassy personality will light in on fire. It melts our hearts to watch you become such a polite, and thoughtful little girl. Oh sure, there is a LOT of hitting/pushing/yelling at Bea (which drives me bananas). But for each of those--there is a moment where you ask why a person is crying. When you give up your toy for Bea because she is crying. Or when you come running to me to let me know that Bea needs me.

You hold your friends dear. 
I hope you can do this for the rest of your life, because good friends are worth holding on as tight as possible for. Quality over quantity. Pick the people that make you feel good, that make you a better person, and who you can have a good time with. 

Happy Happy my sweet Tillie Mae.

We love you very much, and cannot wait to see what the next year holds for you. If any of our other parent friends can predict the future--it should be a wild ride. Word on the street is that '3' is quite the rollarcoaster compared to 2.

Whatever it holds, we will be on the ride with you--enjoying the ups, and attempting to hang on for the downs. Because with a smile like this--how could we bear to miss a thing?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Things We Miss

We have officially been in the house for a little over a week and while we are loving the bigger space, the muted noises (thank you carpet), and a kitchen that allows us to prep and also interact with the girls while they are playing there are definitely things we miss about the old house:

1) Ease of Cleaning
Holy smokes. If you want to sweep the bathroom upstairs, you have to go downstairs and get teh broom, which for some reason feels so much more difficult than taking two steps in the little house.  It feels like we need a toilet brush for every level. And we might just be vacuuming the rest of our lives.  I am sure some of you would suggest a cleaner, but let me just stop right there and say that is definitely not in the cards (or budget) at this point.

2) Grass
This is temporary. We will have grass, again, someday, at the new house. But for right now, it is a massive dirt pile. And Bea only wants to eat dirt. So there is that.

3) Our nice, cool bedroom
Oh man, how do I miss this. For some reason, the one thing that isn't quite working the way we want is our HVAC and cooling the upstairs--specifically our bedroom, which is specifically the room I prefer to be cold all year long. So every night I go to bed complaining it is so hot. Our little house bedroom was wear a sweatshirt and socks to bed cold, and I loved it. Something tells me I will never need to sleep in a sweatshirt ever again.

4) Living RIGHT next to some of our favorite people
One would think that being two doors down instead of 1 door down wouldn't make a big difference, but it does! We don't see our friends, the Teskey's, nearly as much as we used to, and Matilda just points to their house and says "where is Elena". I am still mourning the loss of our 'tunnel in between the houses" idea.

5) Girls "sharing a room"
Don't be confused--the girls did not EVER share a sleeping space. But essentially Bea just slept in teh basement (#secondborn) but all of her stuff like clothes, diapers, etc were in Tillie's room. It was so easy. Now we put Bea to bed, and then I realize I need something from the changing table for Matilda. And for some reason, I am feeling to stubborn to buy duplicates of everything.

Other than that, we are loving the new digs (minus a few moments where Matilda has said she doesn't want to go to the big house, she wants to go to her little house). Will post pictures soon!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The 9 Stages of Moving

After almost a full week of moving, I can reliably report to you that these 9 stages of moving have been confirmed, and are now a scientific phenomenon that one should warn friends about before they decide to move into their new homes.

Don't get me wrong, we love our new house and are feeling quite blessed that we are finally here, but I was unprepared for the intense ride of

1) Excitement

You spend the bulk of your time perusing Pinterest and Houzz dreaming of how amazing your new house is going to look once you get moved in, when in reality you should be spending it with your friends the U-Haul Box and the Packing tape and actually PREPPING for said move.

You pat yourselves on the back for 'getting ahead of things' by gather boxes, and making a giant list of everything you need to do, because just getting it out on paper is progress, right?

2) Denial

Classic warning signs of this stage include creating excuses for why it's okay to break your 'i'll pack one box every day' rule---5 days in a row. You tell yourself that you will just pack 5 on the weekend, but then the weekend comes and one kid gets strep throat and the other really doesn't care that you had plans to pack a box, because the only thing that will stop this tantrum is a trip to the park.

 You deny that the move is getting closer, and start to make excuses about why you don't need to start packing yet:  Our home is so tiny. How long can it really take? I think we could easily pack this sucker up in about 2 days. 3 days tops.  We can absolutely knock that out. No problem.

3) Overwhelmed 

One morning, (probably about 72 hours before you are set to move), you will wake up and reality hits you. Holy Shit. How are you possibly going to get everything packed and in a box before we close on the new house? You completely abandon your plan to have your little house completely spotless BEFORE the move, and accept that you will now be cleaning your little house, moving into the big house all at the same time.

4) Exhaustion

You are in the thick of the move. Schlepping boxes. Telling your crabby husband where his box is supposed to go. You become delirious with each trip up the steps.  You probably haven't eaten for a solid 48 hours. And if one more person asks you where you want a specific box your head might literally spin off.

You lift one box that you know you really need to unpack (like pots and pans--things you need for survival--or at the very minimum your children's survival), realize it is heavy. Look around for someone, anyone, who you can have take it instead of you. Those people do not exist. So instead, you pick a different box.

One filled with matress pad covers, and pillow shams. Stuff that you probably could light on fire and wouldn't miss. But you know what: those pans were too damn heavy, and that is why we put a microwave into this house.

5) Surge-of-Optimism

You start to rally! And as an added bonus your Houzz visions of grandeur come back to life. We can TOTALLY get through all of this. Let's just take our time and make sure it all goes into the perfect spot. After all, the better organized we are when we start out in the new home, the better off we will be forever.

You can start to see it all come together, and are drifting off with daydreams of Christmas carols being sung around the new piano, with stockings hung on the new mantle. This year's Christmas is going to be off the hook.

6) The Rat-Race stage

You are never going to be done moving. Ever. Where do these boxes keep coming from? It's like they are bunnies, or mice. Every where you turn they seem to multiply. You swore you just broke that box down. Where did this one even come in?

What am I supposed to do with this box filled with a: bike helmet, cookbook, yoga mat, heater, and a bath mat? Who PACKED THIS BOX? Which room do I even take this to to unpack it??

7) Anger
It's unclear if this stage develops because you haven't eaten for days because your refrigerator consists of condiments and beer, or because you are truly just mentally and physically done. But at some point hate-rage toward the new home, and its contents resembling a big house with shitty furnishings and not the beautiful scene from Houzz you had envisioned will set in.

This stage also typically involves an IKEA run.

you think..oh yeah---you know what we need? Hooks. And Shelves. And organizing stuff. That will help make it all better. And in the end you leave with a bunch of shit from ikea that generates MORE boxes, MORE do-it-yourself nonsense, and a moment where you briefly question your marriage. But hey, at least you got a soft serve ice cream cone for $.99 out of it.

8) Desparation

You look at your kitchen counter, and you see a basket full of pens, a tape measure, some random organizing baskets from Ikea, three bottles of half-drunk energy drinks, a drying rack that you have had for 3 years, never used, but don't have the heart to throw it because it is brand new, ear phones, a bottle of tums, and mail that keeps piling up.

And it hits you--you don't give a flying crap where any of this stuff goes as long as it is out of sight and technically put away. We have to start a junk drawer at some point, right? All homes have those, right? Then take all of this crap off of my kitchen counter right now, and put it there. Anywhere.

9) Acceptance

At this point, you have reconciled your dream of what the house was goign to look like with what you know the house to currently  look like. And you resign yourself to have patience. To live in the house a little bit, before you start drilling holes like crazy. And that you may just not have a couch, or kitchen chairs before you host your daughters 3-year birthday party.

You accept that this is the new home, and try to buck the waves of sentiment that sweep over you as you do the final wipe down of the old house. You ready yourself to make memories in the new house, and have accepted that you may be doing that among boxes for longer than you wanted, and amid empty walls for longer than you imagined. You shut down your Houzz account, delete your 'New Home" pinterest board, and get back to real life.

And for us, that life involves a whole lot of bins yet to be unpacked, a new floor that has already been scratched by moving a couch, and a whole lot of fun yet to be had. It's been quite the ride, but we are so excited that we are on it, and ready to make this house a home!